Science

Tapeworms And Other Parasites Live In The Human Body

By Hilda Scott , Feb 27, 2013 04:57 PM EST
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Tapeworms, hookworms and pinworms are three commonly found parasitic organisms that can live in the human body. They may enter your body through undercooked types of meat, walking barefoot on soil or even human contact via poor hygiene.

Tapeworms hide in beef or pork and if you get some undercooked meat, you are opening yourself up to the possibility of contracting one. It's always a good idea to have your steak or pork chop well done to avoid this. Do you really need to have that steak cooked "rare" or "medium rare"? A well-done steak is just as good and much safer. The larvae of tapeworms live inside pigs and cows and they can live inside the human body for many years, growing up to 12 feet long. Cattle usually carry the tapeworm species Taenia saginata and pigs carry Taenia solium. Most people don't know they have a tapeworm unless they notice it while defecating.

Hookworms often found in soil are smaller than tapeworms, no more than a centimeter in length, according to medterms.com. Once they find a human host, they burrow themselves into the small intestine and feed off of human blood. They cause the body not to receive its proper nutrients since they suck it out of the bloodstream and cause anemia and malnutrition. Globally, hookworms infect billions of people, most of them living in areas of poor sanitation or in tropical climates. People contact hookworms while walking barefoot on soil or from contact with contaminated water.

Pinworms lay eggs around the anus of a human host, causing the person to itch and if the person touches their mouth, the eggs can enter the digestive tract. Pinworms are found worldwide on surfaces like toilet seats, faucets and doorknobs, making them easily spread through human contact. A pinworm infection can cause itchiness, irritability and weight loss.

To get rid of these parasitic creatures, you can take pharmaceutical drugs called Anthelamintics. Benzimidazoles, Albendazole and Invermectin are three types of these drugs commonly used. They get rid of the worms by either starving the worms by cutting of its glucose absorption ability or interfering with the parasite's neurotransmitters. The best way to avoid getting a parasitic infection is to stay clear of undercooked meats, never walk barefoot on soil (especially at night) and to maintain proper personal hygiene.

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